Readathon Day

deweys-readathonbuttonOnce again, it’s time for Dewey’s Read-a-Thon, a twice-yearly celebration of reading (and snacking). I’ve been planning to participate ever since it was announced, but I’ve been lax about the preparation this time. Never mind, though! I always have a bookcase of books to choose from, and I happen to have a big stack out from the library, so who needs to plan? I did take a little time to make my always essential pumpkin muffins yesterday, and I have fruit and peanut butter and chocolate chip squares and access to a computer to order pizza. So—off we go!

My plan for the day has been to finish Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff, which I just started yesterday, and then see where my mood takes me. However, I may decide to follow my frequently successful tactic of choosing an absorbing chunkster to spend the day with. Last year, I read 11/22/63 by Stephen King, and I can’t imagine a better choice. So it seems appropriate to spend the day today with NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.

I expect to spend most of the day reading, although I have a mid-morning brunch date with some friends. Most of my updates will be on Twitter, but I’ll try to add a few updates to this post as well.

As always, I’m linking my Readathon to a literacy charity and donating 10 cents for every page I read. I was just starting to ponder my charity yesterday when the folks at LibraryThing posted about their collaboration with Books Matter to ship books to schools in Ghana.

So watch this space for further updates throughout the day!

Update 1

Time of Update: 10: 30 a.m.

Now Reading: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Total Pages Read : 171 pages total

Total Time Spent Reading: Just over 2 hours

Money Raised for : $17.10

Favorite Quote: “You found yourself a librarian! I can help with the figuring-out thing and point you toward some good poetry while I’m at it. It’s what I do.”

Observations: Finished a fourth of the book already. It reads quickly and is plenty creepy! I’m going to start getting ready to meet some friends for brunch shortly, so I may not get more reading done until the afternoon.

Update 2

Time of Update: 5: 10 p.m.

Now Reading: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Total Pages Read : 342 pages total

Total Time Spent Reading: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Money Raised for : $34.20

Favorite Quote: “…even when you seemed completely overpowered, you could still show your teeth.”

Observations: Halfway finished with NOS4A2. It’s a good book, very intense, but not as stomach-churning and oppressive as Heart-Shaped Box. There are more glimmers of hope throughout in this book.

Update 3

Time of Update: 9: 20 p.m.

Now Reading: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Total Pages Read : 517 pages total

Total Time Spent Reading: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Money Raised for : $51.70

Favorite Quote: “But… but, like if Keith Richards dreams up a song and then you hear it on the radio, you’ve got his thoughts in your head. My ideas can get in your head just as easily as a bird can fly across the date line.”

Observations: The quote above struck me because I’m seeing lots of references to Stephen King’s work in NOS4A2. There’s a mention of Mid-World, the Good Man, Shawshank prison, Pennywise. There are tons of pop culture references because one of the characters is into comics and other geeky stuff, but the King references aren’t like the others. They’re just slipped in as part of the world Hill is creating, as if his father’s ideas have gotten into his head.

I’ll probably read a little more tonight before going to bed, but I’m not sure that I’ll have another update until the morning. It’s been a nice day, and I’ve gotten a lot of reading done, although between other plans for the day and various distractions, I haven’t participated as fully with Twitter posts and comments as I sometimes do. Every readathon is a little different, and I have to let my mood be my guide.

Final Update

Time of Update: 8: 00 a.m.

Now Reading: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Total Pages Read : 648 pages total

Total Time Spent Reading: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Money Raised for : $64.80

Favorite Quote: [Lou, in the hospital, notices that his nurse has a tattoo of Serenity on his arm.] “I am a leaf on the wind,” Lou said, and the man-nurse said, “Dude, don’t say that. I don’t want to start crying on the job.”

Observations: I just about finished NOS4A2this morning. Once again, the strategy of choosing a single, highly immersive book to read worked well. I see people remarking on feeling bad that they only finished one book during the Readathon, but I really do feel that one gripping book that holds my interest is the way to go for me, and I don’t entirely understand why a stack of different books is the “readathon-appropriate” way. I’ve read multiple books on Readathon day a couple of times, and it was fine, but no better than sticking with one book. The nice thing about one book is that I don’t have to switch gears so often, and I genuinely don’t want to stop reading. Plus, I’m not left with a whole backlog of books to review.

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34 Responses to Readathon Day

  1. I finished 11.22.63. about 3 weeks ago and it’s definitely engrossing. Where has Stephen King been all my life? I’ve got Under the Dome on my stack for today.

  2. Alex in Leeds says:

    Love the per page donation, enjoy your reading today!

  3. Iris says:

    The donation is a lovely idea! I hope you have a great time with the readathon!

  4. Laurie C says:

    Sounds like a lovely day, although I’ve found Joe Hill’s books creep into my subconscious even more sneakily than Stephen King’s, so watch out reading late into the night!

  5. Ronnica says:

    I think it’s great you’re donating as well as reading. I hope that you enjoy the read!

  6. Lisa says:

    I’d love to spend the day deep in reading – and I’m off to a good start this morning, even though I’m not doing the read-a-thon, and I’ll have to give it up for weekend chores later in the day. I hope your day goes well !

  7. Belle Wong says:

    It’s wonderful that you’re donating as well as reading! Happy readathon!

  8. Caitie F says:

    Have fun today – those books look amazing!

  9. lmm831 says:

    I think that it is awesome that you link this to giving to a charity! I really need to think about doing that next time! I am cheering you on!

    Lisa’s World of Books

  10. I LOVE that quote! Enjoy your reading!

  11. Wish I’d known about this sooner – the day is already planned out. NEXT Readathon, I’m there!!

  12. lmm831 says:

    Your doing great! Keep Reading!

  13. Glad to have found you through the read-a-thon! Trying to wake myself up a bit by touring and discovering some great, like-minded bloggers!

  14. Laura says:

    Hope you had fun! Good night!

  15. lmm831 says:

    Congrats on finishing the readathon!

  16. Iris says:

    I read two books and a little bit of War and Peace. All three reads were engrossing for me. The amount of pages I read wasn’t that big (and I missed more than 12 hours of the readathon doing other stuff). But even though part of me after finishing “only” one book was feeling a little sorry that it was only one, another part of me is really happy with the things I did read. They were very engrossing. Perhaps a little more challenging than the kind of books I picked up for previous readathons, but it worked for me this time. I think the way to go for me is just to have a lot of options open, and try not to feel bad by the insignificant number of pages and/or books read while I see other people going “I am on to book5” in the 12th hour.

    Anyway, I think your strategy sounds like a really good one. Perhaps next time I shall try a long-long book?

    Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself. And you raised so much money for charity! That’s wonderful!

    • Teresa says:

      I do like to have lots of options on hand if what I’m reading doesn’t work out, but I’ve had great success with good long books that I don’t want to put down. I tend to prefer reading in big, long, gulps, and it’s hard to make time to read long books in that way, so Readathon is a great opportunity to do that. I have sometimes felt bad when I see people talking about how many books they read, but if it’s really bothering me, I just disconnect or try to remember that the objective is to enjoy myself. Sometimes I don’t end up spending that much time reading on the day, but it seems ridiculous to keep reading if I need a break, and sometimes I have other things I have to do, so I try not to worry about it if I don’t read as much as I had hoped.

  17. Victoria says:

    Oh my, I love the Serenity quote. That alone makes me want to read Joe Hill! :-) It’s such a lovely idea to read for charity and I think I might do that next time.

    I know what you mean about getting engrossed in one book. I started with a stack of 5 and was switching between them – nonfiction, short stories and 2 novels – but it made me quite edgy. I was always wondering if I should move on to one of my other choices. My most successful reading of the whole challenge was done towards the end, when I get utterly swept up in a single story and let it carry me away. Though I finished 2 books I had started earlier in the week, that last one was the only thing I read right through.

    • Teresa says:

      If you follow Joe Hill on Twitter, you’ll see he’s a lover of all things geeky. I loved that he didn’t bother explaining why that line is so sad–a nice shoutout to all the Browncoats.

      I’m the sort of person who has more than one book on the go at a time, and that might explain why a single big book works so well for me. I just don’t like skipping around or switching gears.

  18. Belle Wong says:

    Just popping back to this post to say congratulations on a great readathon yesterday! And now I’m really wanting to read Joe Hill’s NOS4A2!

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